Posts Tagged ‘feral animals’

image from mogollonmonster.com

This story takes place in the middle of last century, that is in the middle of the 1950’s. The area around Cootamundra in New South Wales was well settled, mainly sheep grazing and wheat. There were many tales going round about strange creatures seen at night, especially on those near moonless nights when shadows take shape.  This saga occurred in the middle of a bright sunny day without a cloud in the sky.

Father was out mustering the sheep as there was always plenty of work looking after the mob and ensuring the lambs were safe from foxes and wild dogs.  He wouldn’t be seen until close to dinner time.

Mother was outside bringing in the wash which had dried quickly under the hot sun.  There were, at that time just two children in the family, occupied with their games. They were playing in the shade of the verandah. The sound of lazy cicadas could be heard in the heavy air.  Just another day on the farm.

Suddenly a silence descended on the place. Not a cicada or a bird could be heard. Mother felt the hairs on her neck stand straight and an icy prickling feeling ran down her spine.

Slowly she looked over her shoulder and there at the fence stood an image from a nightmare. It was the biggest dog she had ever seen.  It stood four feet at the shoulder, its head coming to the top of the wire fence which surrounded the garden.  It  looked like a giant cross between a Great Dane and a Doberman, jet black in colour with the brightest RED EYES she had ever seen.  They appeared to glow even in the sunlight, piercing her to the spot.

Quietly but with an urgency in her tone she urged the children to get back inside the house, quickly, but not to run. She made her way back to the house steadily, keeping one eye over her shoulder to keep the creature in sight. All through this the dog made not a move, not a sound, just stared with those evilly glowing eyes.

As soon as she got inside the door she grabbed the  .22 calibre rifle, kept near the door within easy reach. As she spun round and opened the door she got an even bigger fright. There was no sign of the creature at the fence.  About a mile and a half away there was a small mob of sheep scattering in every direction and she spied a large black shape loping along towards the trees.  Moments later and several more miles away she spied a dark shape quickly loping over the rocky terrain and towards the bush.

At that time of day she could see miles in every direction.  There was no doubt at what she was seeing.  She looked again at the fence. Being just over five feet tall herself she could feel how large this animal had been. There wasn’t a mark on the ground, no paw prints despite the dust near the fence.

The creature never returned to the farm but they kept a weather eye out for it, just in case. There were stories of it being seen running in the distance from other farmers, lambs being taken, lambs being killed and eaten, the carcasses found later.  Such was the concern at the devastation this monster was causing that Father and a mate decided to set up a trap.

So they built a sturdy cage in the middle of the paddock,

gathered the lambs and ewes inside, themselves, guns and  a shooting stand, car battery and spotlight and set out to lure the creature out. Despite being out there the entire lambing season and many thereafter they never lured the creature in. The killings continued elsewhere unabated.

Was it real? Could it have been something from deep within the Great Dividing Range where no man could get through? Was it some strange beast escaped from a circus years before? There were many questions and no answers and to this date no one has captured or killed this creature….. the Devil Dog of Cootamundra.  Perhaps you’ll see it someday.

I wouldn’t call the farmers and their families of those days people who were easily scared, nor with imaginations which ran to making up stories like this. I, for one, believe that this monster dog is still roaming its vast territory and when it is ready, it will make its appearance once more.

“The animals of the world exist for their own reasons. They were not made for humans any more than black people were made for white, or women created for men.”   Alice Walker

Tell me, what do you think?  Can such a creature exist, undisturbed and breeding in uncharted territory for decades? Will we see the emergence  of beasts to terrorise the local farmers in years to come? Who really knows.

Cheers,  Susan x

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